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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
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The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
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Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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U.S. Agencies Unveil Competition to Develop Personal Pollution Sensor
6 June 2012 5:34 pm
In a first, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is jumping into the science prize game. EPA, together with the National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services, today announced a nationwide competition to develop new, highly portable sensors that can measure air quality while monitoring a person's physiological response to air pollution. Four finalists in the My Air, My Health Challenge will receive $15,000 and the opportunity to present a working prototype to judges, with $100,000 going to the winner.
The Obama Administration has been a fan of prizes as a way to stimulate innovation. But My Air, My Health marks EPA's first foray into competitions. EPA Science Advisor Glenn Paulson seems sold on the concept: "You're paying for the results, not for the research," he says. "It's one of the most effective and efficient ways to get something done."
NIH has been slow to get into the prize game, as well, but NIEHS Director Linda Birnbaum is also a fan of a little competition. "Grants fund the proposals that are most likely to succeed, but challenges give the prize to someone who has already achieved success," she says. An additional benefit: "These challenges lead to attracting outside investment to an area that's been a federal priority."
The first phase of the challenge requires participants to send in a written proposal that details their sensor design. Proposals are due by 5 October, and the finalists will be announced on 8 November. The four finalists will have 6 months to come up with a working prototype before a winner is chosen in 2013.